Need a Hallowe'en Costume Idea? There's A Web App for That

By Tifany12 (Own work)
via Wikimedia Commons
So last night, my friend and yours, @nellleo and I were on the bus home to the shire (read: burbs) and she asked me for a Hallowe'en party costume idea. Which is kind of hard when you're tired and it's the end of the work day and you spent most of it in meetings and now you're sardined on a busy bus full of people who have broken out their layers and puffy winter coats because OMG there were FLAKES! this morning. And so, we pondered.

Now, had we been a little more alert, we might have just gone to the Googles and looked for a costume generator app to help us. Yes, it turns out that there are peeps who have developed apps of all sorts to help you come up with your Hallowe'en costume idea so you don't have to exhaust yourself or stress yourself out. Outsource, people! This is the new economy!

CostumeIdeaGenerator.com

Take for instance, CostumeIdeaGenerator.com which would be the most logical solution, right? Probably except that with its less-than-optimized search engine optimization, showed up on page 2 of my Google search results. Regardless, I thought it was the best app because it allows for multiple parties to partake in a costume. Pick the number of people, their genders and voila! Instant costume suggestion! Samples:
  • 3 people of unspecified genders? Spice Girls! (remember them?)
  • 1 male? Seal, Darth Vader, Walter White
  • 2 females? Tom & Jerry, Lilo & Stitch, Barack and Michelle Obama
Clearly, some of these ideas require a little more planning than others, but you can just keep clicking for ideas and the page continues to show you your last 5 recommendations.

Blog Things Costume Generator

Blog Things also has a generator which relies on a series of intelligent questions to make a suggestion. I say "intelligent" because some of the generators I saw (most of which were old out of date websites) asked questions which were pretty obviously going to influence the sexiness of the costume (e.g. weight). This one asks if you want to be sexy up front, if you're outgoing or reserved, how much effort you want to put into your costume. Great questions. And if you don't like the suggestion, it offers an alternative right away. Warning: You need to work around a couple of ads, but the app works pretty well.

Hallowe'en Costume Idea Generator

This genericly named Hallowe'en Costume Idea Generator is a very simple app, hosted on basically the equivalent of a Geocities site. But it's the fastest one to use: just click for a suggestion and keep clicking until you like what it recommends. I found the ideas in this one a lot more creative, despite the simplicity of the apps. That was thanks to the descriptors: you aren't just a dinosaur, you're a dapper dinosaur. You're not just a vampire hunter, you're an elegant vampire hunter. (Picturing some steampunk awesomeness with that one!) Definitely some good ideas here.

Costume Ideas Generator

And last but not least was Costume Ideas Generator hosted on an MIT server, built using the kid-friendly programming tool, Scratch. This one basically seems to randomly combine a series of adjectives and nouns to generate costume ideas such as, mental penguin, happy Harry Potter, and epic nerd. It took me a second to figure out how it worked (click Play then hit Space bar to generate new ideas). Some of them were good (yay for epic nerds!) but others were a bit lame (ideas that included potatoes). But it was cute and was built on Scratch, so points for learning to code :)


So there you have it. Plenty of ideas for your Hallowe'ening. Or you know, go as your favourite movie character. Just be sure that if you do, you're true to the original story, especially the one that the Internet deems to be accurate, not the movie producers. And get your facts straight. 

No, you can't be Princess Leia with a red lightsaber. Because it's wrong, that's why. Unless you're trying to be ironic. And then it's still wrong. Hmm, maybe we should leave the costume ideas to the Interwebs after all.